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What is it ? : The Republic has lost contact with a listening station and the Clone Troopers manning it, and Anakin, Obi-Wan, R2-D2, C-3PO, some Clone Troopers and the dignitaries of the planet in the same system that claims this world (the Pantorans).
The discover the Clone Troopers have been killed (and their helmets put on spikes), and track down a Separatist base nearby. Entering the Separatist base, they find the Droids manning that base have been killed (and their heads put on spikes, there's a theme going on here).
The Jedi then track down the perpetrators, the Talz, who ask just to be left alone. The Pantoran leader deliberately provokes a war, because this planet will be taken off the Pantorans if there are native's found to be living on it. The Senator for the Pantorans overrules the leader, but too late as he is wounded in battle with the Talz.
The Senator takes control, and faces the Talz leader in what could easily turn into a fight she cannot win, but she drops her weapon saying that sometimes it is braver to want peace than war, and the Talz leader agrees. The Republic and the Pantorans pull their forces from the planet, leaving the Talz in peace.
High Points : There's a lot to like in this episode, the snow planet they're on is gorgeous to behold, with canyons and a very monochromatic feel to it, so while it could have been reminiscent of Hoth, it doesn't have the icy blues and open snow fields of that world.
The Talz, a species glimpsed in the Cantina in A New Hope are brilliantly brought to life here, and when they're riding their beasts they look vicious and deadly, something you wouldn't have guessed from their somewhat ridiculous appearance in A New Hope.
The story doesn't have a Separatist enemy, and is all the better for it, telling the tale of an interesting event that the Jedi are involved with to keep an ally happy. But their position is awkward, not being able to force a solution, but having to let their ally come to it themselves.
Low Points : The military leader of the Pantorans is a little one dimensional, but still manages to act realistically. The Pantorans have checked the planet many times for life, but never located it, and now he is faced with losing an entire planet and all its resources because intelligent life has now been found. He reacts badly to this, but he's not doing this for personal profit, he honestly seems to believe that this is for the best for his world and species.
The only flaw I can really point out in this episode, was the need of the writers to have a clear villain, so they made this actually understandable character act very abrasive towards the heroes so he more clearly fits into the villain category, when his actual actions do not make him fit so comfortably into that role (He actually dies for his beliefs, and wants the Talz destroyed for the good of his people)
So what do you really think ? : I really enjoyed this one, visually it was hugely appealing, with the heavy use of speeder bikes racing down icy ravines. The story was good, and the "villain" of the story wasn't actually evil, just mistaken.
In fact the story really benefitted from not having Grievous, Ventress or Dooku twirling their moustaches and being evil all over the place.
Final Words : A good solid story of something going on behind The Clone Wars, something I'd like to see a lot more of. There's got to be a lot of the Republic and Jedi doing things for the member planets of the Republic, not connected to the Clone Wars, but necessary to keep those worlds and their senators support for the Republic and its army strong.
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